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Social Impact Assessment in the Extractives: Critical Perspectives

Delivered by Sustainable Minerals Institute


Understand the complexities of responsible resource extraction and upskill in the rapidly evolving field of Social Impact Assessment (SIA).

In this course, you’ll learn the latest SIA practices and how to improve the way resource companies engage with society.

You’ll examine the challenges and opportunities for extractives-sector Social Impact Assessments, as well as critical issues such as:

  • consultation and consent
  • impact and benefit agreements
  • resettlement
  • project closure
  • social vulnerability.

Upcoming courses

Delivery mode
online, self-paced
No dates currently available
Time commitment
21 hours

Register your interest to be notified when new courses are scheduled

Who should attend

  • Social Impact Assessment (SIA) practitioners 
  • Resources extraction professionals.

Entry requirements

There are no entry requirements for this course.

What you'll learn

  • Identify recurring issues in extractive sector social impact assessments
  • Apply ‘Theory of change’ thinking to SIA
  • Know how to build an effective social baseline
  • Distinguish free, prior, and informed consent and ethics
  • Examine developments in the field, including community-controlled SIAs
  • Implement SIA and social impact monitoring programs.

Time commitment

This is an online course that will require roughly 21 hours to complete.

  • 18 hours of online content
  • 3 hours of webinars
  • Over 6 weeks.

Course curriculum

In this module, you will situate the role and practice of Social Impact Assessment (SIA) in the context of global resource extraction industries and examine some of the key recurring issues that arise in SIA, including those that may be considered "unsettling" or challenging.

In this module, explore the concept of social baselines and the critical role of data collection in understanding the social environment in which extractive impacts occur.

This module examines the concept of ‘theory of change’ thinking. Initially developed in the 1990s within the context of philanthropic giving, theory of change has since become a critical approach for the design and evaluation of development programs. This module explores the evolution of theory of change thinking, from its early origins to its contemporary use by international development agencies. Specifically, the module focuses on the role of theory of change in guiding the design, implementation, and evaluation of programs in developing countries, with a particular emphasis on the approach taken by the UK Department for International Development (DfID).

This module provides an in-depth analysis of the concept of ‘community-controlled SIA’ and explore some of the challenges and opportunities associated with this practice. Through an exploration of key theoretical and practical aspects of community-controlled SIA, participants will gain a deep understanding of the benefits and challenges associated with this practice.

This module provides a comprehensive analysis of the critical issues of research ethics and Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) and their relationship to Social Impact Assessment (SIA). Research ethics and FPIC are integral components of effective SIA, providing a framework for ensuring that development projects are carried out in a manner that respects the rights and interests of affected communities.

This module explores the critical role of social impact monitoring programs in ensuring that Social Impact Assessment (SIA) remains relevant throughout the life of a project. Drawing on key foundations for SIA and theory of change thinking, participants will gain the skills and knowledge necessary to design and implement effective monitoring programs.


There is no assessment. However, to receive the Certificate you will need to attend the lectures and interact with the online material via the discussion boards and Padlets.

Certification and accreditation

Students who successfully complete the course will receive a Certificate of Completion to verify their skills and achievements.


Associate Professor Nick Bainton, Principal Research Fellow, Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining (CSRM)
Associate Professor Nick Bainton
Principal Research Fellow, Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining (CSRM)
Dr John Burton, Principal Research Fellow, Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining (CSRM)
Dr John Burton
Principal Research Fellow, Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining (CSRM)


Applicant Price
Individual domestic ex. GST A$2,000
Individual international (GST not payable) A$2,000

Please see the Terms and Conditions (PDF, 123.12 KB).

GST is excluded from the cost

Payment options

We accept credit cards (Visa/MasterCard) for payment, including corporate credit cards. If you do not have access to a card, please contact our team at to discuss your options.


Sustainable Minerals Institute

For more professional development options, visit the Sustainable Minerals Institute website.